Celebrity Millennium Cruise Review by Travelling Paddies
- Sail Date: September 2017
- Destination: Alaska
- Cabin Type: Ocean View 4
We thought we’d arrive early and avoid the crowds so got there about 11.30 only to find that many others had the same idea. We deposited our bags and went upstairs to join what seemed like a sizeable queue but it moved quickly enough and before long, we had checked in and moved on to US Immigration and Customs. We joined another queue there and a while later (maybe 20 mins) we were cleared to embark.
We then embarked the ship, to be greeted by staff who took our photo for our sea pass cards (very quickly) and we were offered a glass of orange juice or prosecco. Very nice - a lovely introduction to Celebrity Cruises.
We were on the ship by about 12.30 so went on a quick sight-seeing tour, then a bite of lunch and a glass of wine and at 1 pm approx (as promised by a number of public address announcements) we were informed that our staterooms were ready. When we went to check our cabin shortly thereafter, we found that our bags were waiting for us outside the door. Our Ocean View cabin, No. 9000 on Deck 9 was great, quite roomy as ship cabins go. We enjoyed the extra space as we had 3 full sea days on our itinerary. The cabin was kept spick and span by our Attendant Newman ( probably incorrect spelling but I don’t know the correct spelling) who was always very pleasant and efficient. We thought about getting a balcony cabin but we decided against , given the itinerary and we were happy with our decision. I don’t think we would have used a balcony with the weather we had ( which was actually better then we expected). It was too cold to sit outside, while at sea, without a coat; and where’s the pleasure in that? We were travelling with another couple who had Cabin 9001 which was a similar cabin on the port side of the ship.
We tended to have breakfast and lunch in the Oceanview Restaurant. This tended to be very busy but we always succeeded in getting a table for our party of four without too much difficulty. I would point out that the ship was fully booked so was working at full capacity. There was a good variety of food to suit all palates, salads, pizza, curries, casseroles, a large roast carved by one of the chefs, surrounded by the usual accompaniments, etc., noodles and many other choices. The food was hot and tasty. Waiters were present to take drink orders from anybody interested.
Breakfast also had an excellent variety available, fruit, English breakfast ( rashers, scrambled eggs, mushrooms, sausages, beans, tomatoes, black pudding), American breakfast included bacon, sausages, hash browns etc. You could also have omelettes cooked to order, eggs benedict, pancakes, waffles and many other options.
We went to the Main Dining Room each night. Portions there were small. After a couple of nights, we started ordering a starter, soup and then main course, dessert and coffee and found this worked well for us. We had select dining and presented ourselves for dinner at around 7 each evening. Some evenings, we were accommodated immediately; other evenings, we were give a pager until a table for 4 was ready. We were never waiting long, no more than 15 mins at most. The staff in the dining room were very efficient, regardless of where we were seated in what is a huge dining room. We took our time over our meal and were usually finished in good time to catch the 9pm show.
The entertainment was good. The first night, there was an introductory evening, with short performances from artists who were to appear during the week. During the course of the week, there were three shows by the Celebrity team of singers and dancers which were great, a guest singer who was called Jesse Hamilton Jnr who was good and certainly knew how to work a crowd. I should point out that he was backed by an excellent five person “orchestra” and this contributed significantly to the atmosphere, ambience and our enjoyment of the various shows. Another night, the show consisted of a cirque type act by Yulia & Alan Reva. This too was good and it is clear that they are very talented at what they do. There was a comedian another night but we missed this performance.
We didn’t book any celebrity Shore Excursions, choosing instead to do our own thing and this worked well for us. Icy Strait Point was first. This is a quiet stop and we really enjoyed ourselves there. We walked into the town and stopped for a drink at The Office Bar and while there, we availed of their wifi. The locals were very friendly and pleasant.
The day we were at the Hubbard Glacier was cold and very very wet. Most people did not venture out on deck for long, choosing instead to view the magnificent Glacier from inside. Although the weather was dreadful, we did get an excellent view of the Glacier itself and the Captain was able to get us within one third of a mile from this amazing phenomenon.
Next stop was Juneau. We hired a car here through Juneau Car Rentals, walking to the office from the ship. It took about 20 minutes or so. We drove to the Mendenhall Glacier first. This is beautiful! It is well worthwhile to walk to Nugget Falls as you will get a closer view of the glacier from there, together with the waterfall. We later drove to St. Theresa’s Shrine which was lovely although there was a heavy mist there which shrouded the scenery. We spent the afternoon rambling around Juneau which is a pretty town. By the way, we got wifi in the library adjacent to the dock. The library is located on the fourth floor of the building.
The final stop was Ketchikan. This day, we chose to walk around the town on our own. We visited the Totem Heritage Centre which was interesting. We then went to Creek Street and saw the salmon (so many salmon!) in the river waiting for their chance to battle upriver to their destination of choice. We stopped for a drink in the Totem Bar and had a chance to use the wifi there. Then, a little shopping in the town and back to the ship for dinner.
. We spent some time in the Solarium while on board and the men spent some time in the sauna looking out a large window at the scenery beyond. They also used the well equipped gym.
BeforeI I finish , I have to state that the staff (in all areas) were always very pleasant and friendly. They never failed to say hello when passing you in the corridor All in all, we had a fabulous holiday – all four of us were in agreement. I have no problem in recommending this cruise.
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